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Habs pick Connor Crisp goes east to Sudbury Wolves in major OHL trade

Neate Sager
Buzzing The Net

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Crisp broke out with 22 goals last season before being drafted by the Habs (OHL Images)

When three vets change scenery with the single rumble of the OHL's fax machine, it usually means at least one wanted out of his current situation. Montreal Canadiens third-rounder Connor Crisp ultimately got what he was looking for from his tenure with the Erie Otters when he was selected last summer as a 're-entry' player in his second year of eligibility. As a 19-year-old power winger with some untapped offensive potential, being on the second line in Erie probably wasn't enough.

As it stands, Crisp and offensive defenceman Jimmy McDowell, who was Erie's surplus overage since it is seeking more defence, are headed to the Eastern Conference's Sudbury Wolves. Cory Genovese, a 19-year-old defenceman, is the lone active player headed to Erie, which desperately needs to cut down its goals-against from the whopping 306 it yielded last winter.

Call it an old-fashioned challenge trade. Sudbury's core forwards who have matured collectively across the past season or two — Mat Campagna, Nate Pancel and imports Dominik Kahun and Dominik Kubalik — all shade toward the small-and-skilled stereotype. Crisp, at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, balances that out with his bulk and finishing ability. How the big man develops last year after the Canadiens snapped him up much earlier than expected in June will be worth watching. A shoulder injury that limited Crisp to six games as a 17-year-old in 2011-12 set him back, but he overcame it by posting 36 points on a weak team last winter.

Genovese getting moved is interesting since he spent 1½ seasons with the Kitchener Rangers, where new Wolves coach Paul Fixter was the assistant coach. So it turns out being a short reunion, although they'll always have Russia. The bottom line is Erie's young defence has been shored by adding a player who's familiar with the Western Conference.

(Regarding the headline, it's a reference to the players changing conferences. Erie is actually geographically west of Sudbury.)

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca.

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